The Franklin County United Way campaign is lagging somewhat going into the final weeks with about 43 percent of the goal raised.
No need to panic, the local United Way drive has been in the same state of being some distance from the goal and then in the final weeks coming through to go over the top.
The goal is $1,111,111. A total of $487,007 has been raised. The drive officially ends Oct. 30.
The campaign has never failed to meet the goal. United Way leaders are optimistic the goal will be reached, but there always is concern at this stage of the drive.
Franklin Countians are generous people. They have always come through. The annual drive is the largest fundraising effort every year. More than 50 member agencies benefit from the annual drive. The agencies’ services touch just about everybody in the county in varying degrees.
We remember when the United Way of giving came to Washington and years later took in the entire county of about 101,000 people. It was started as the Community Chest to eliminate the increasing number of fundraising campaigns by agencies that serve the general public. They were a drain on leadership. People would complete one drive and then were asked to serve on another committee to raise money.
As the years moved on, people’s needs increased. The number of agencies that joined the United Way of giving increased also. The local United Way joined the St. Louis organization, but the money donated here remain in this area.
There has never been so many organizations that ask for donations. Every day mail is received in which donations are sought. There are religious groups that seek help, along with educational institutions, military veterans organizations, missionaries, health care facilities, groups that represent special health care needs, museums, recreational places, local improvement projects — the list is endless.
People only have so much to give. Some families have to ration their funding. They can’t give to every request — there are too many!
But the United Way does a good job of telling the public of the work that its member agencies do. The members are screened very closely, and there is accountability.
Special needs often arise and fund drives are moved into gear quickly. People and service organizations respond. The giving spirit is such that those needs are met. Often it is a family in need and there is a generous response.
The Franklin County United Way and its volunteers work tirelessly every year to meet the goal. Their reward is for the goal to be met. We may have to dig a little deeper in our generosity to meet this year’s goal. It is attainable!